22 Mar 2010

Land owners in PNG win case against nickel mine

4:55 am on 22 March 2010

Papua New Guinea landowners have won a battle to freeze a Chinese nickel miner's construction of a massive pipeline to dump waste into the sea.

The AAP news agency reports that the national court in Madang has ordered work to stop on the nickel mine's previously approved submarine tailings disposal system.

The Ramu mine in Madang Province, on PNG's northwest coast, plans to dump five million tonnes of slurry waste annually into Basamuk Bay.

The company was preparing to start blasting coral reefs for the tailings pipeline to be laid.

The stop-work order is another setback for the Chinese project, which has suffered a series of problems with the mine's construction and relations with local people.

The lawyer representing the Madang landowners, Tiffany Nonggorr said the mining company must find an alternative to dumping the mine waste into the bay.